COMMUNITY | Staff Reporter, Australia

Hog's Australia's Steakhouse joins fight against ‘The Black Dog'

The brand will host a massive national charity event across its 80 restaurants in March next year.

A Chance for Change (ACFC) began as a grassroots movement by two young men who were determined to put a spotlight on the fight for men’s mental health following personal experience with both depression and losing mates to suicide. The movement gained momentum and encouraged the founders to continue the fight and establish ACFC as a charity, which was officially registered in September 2016.

Hog’s CEO, Ross Worth, said the restaurant group has partnered with ACFC as it’s a cause that speaks to their franchisees, as well as their customers. “We have restaurants across the country with a major presence in regional areas of Australia where statistics show higher rates of male depression and suicide. Depression and suicide rates amongst men in Australia are staggering, not to mention the associated societal issues that arise from it, so we’re very happy to partner with ACFC and do all we can to support their initiatives."

“We were able to raise $7,000 for ACFC in a matter of minutes just amongst our franchisees at Hog’s annual conference earlier this year so we have no doubt that a national event across all our restaurants will go a long way in assisting ACFC to make a real difference," he added.

With the catchcry “speaking up is manning up”, ACFC aims to reform the current misconceptions of what it means to be a man in today’s society and empower men with the knowledge and self-confidence to stop ‘The Black Dog’ before it strikes.

ACFC CEO, Ivan Mardones, said that men are really suffering and he wants them to understand that there is help available, that people do care, and that no matter how far down they fall, there is a way back up and suicide is not an answer.

“Some of us at ACFC have lost mates and family members to suicide, or lived through the black dog and come out the other side, so we have a really raw and authentic approach to battling this epidemic,” said Mardones.

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